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February 7, 2012


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Dear friends,

Three days into the Run, & the team has already passed into & out of the old city of Jerusalem. The Separation Wall presents a very different experience on either side: where the Palestinian side features sprawling, artful graffiti pleading for peace, the Israeli side is gray & blank. When the team passed back through, their Palestinian team members, who had been left behind the previous day, greeted them warmly, along with plenty of media.

Today’s video from The People and the Olive shows a little more insight into the run itself. How fun & hard this whole thing is--but
what beautiful rewards to connect with the people & with one another. A note from the media team: Part 6 will be coming in two days instead of tomorrow, since they need a break from their media marathon & are looking forward to getting a little more sleep! Stay tuned.

After the checkpoint, the runners trekked through Ramallah,
escorted graciously by Palestinian officials who helped them navigate the busy traffic. They continued into the countryside, climbing into the mountains, then descending into the olive-growing regions. The hills present challenging terrain, but the gorgeous scenery keeps the team in good spirits! Read what runner David has to say about his experience from day 3.

"It's a very stark contrast between Jerusalem and back in the West Bank. Everyone is honking & cheering & running with the team," says Claire as they run with Palestinian flags & "for the love of the olive" stickers on their backs.

Joshua, Jacob, & Aaron spent much of the day experiencing the culture of both the Old City & Ramallah, gathering material to feature in today’s video from The People & the Olive. Later, they rejoined the rest of the team outside of Ramallah, & everyone was welcomed to the village of Arura, enjoying a dinner that included Maftoul (the local version of couscous).

They were greeted by hundreds of villagers & children, and the governor personally welcomed them. "I consider this marathon not just across Palestine," he said, "but a marathon all over the world because the runners are now ambassadors to tell the story of the Palestinian people."

Before the team split up to spend the night in the homes of local farmers, the evening concluded with Josh’s rousing renditions of two Civil Rights movement tunes, “We Will Not Be Moved” & “Down by the Riverside.” See a clip from that awesome jam here.

We’re all super excited about the music Josh will record as a result of his experience. And we're grateful that he's generously donating half the proceeds from that album to support the work of On the GroundPerforming Songwriter magazine calls his tunes "some of the liveliest & most rocking roots music around,” & we can’t wait to hear what he comes up with! Josh loves bringing communities together through music, building understanding & peace through rhythm & melody. Read more about Josh on his website here.


Jennifer & the whole On the Ground crew

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